Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kings, Knights and Magicians

X-man was supposed to go to the Airshow in Charleston with MacTroll yesterday, but because he had a roll of awful behavior on Friday night he lost that privilege and spent yesterday pretty much in his room. When I came back from completing my 5k on Saturday morning, there was a letter of apology written to me on the dining room table. X-man had decided that his big kid paper didn't have enough space for everything he wanted to say, so he dictated his message to MacTroll and then MacTroll printed it out in a font that made the letters out of dots and X-man sat down and used a pencil to connect the letters and sentences.

So, when MacTroll woke up this a.m. and had issues getting off the pot, I snatched my boy up, threw him in the car and drove to Danville (which I'm sure makes SuperShanna proud). Why Danville?

Today was the second day of the Illinois Renaissance Fair. We showed up right in time for the starting ceremonies. The trick was that my child had no idea where he was going. It was a surprise. So when he pulled up and saw a knight on a horse he flipped out!

"Mom! Mom! Mom! It's a -- It's a -- What is that KNIGHT doing there?"

Then we got out of the car and ran over where a woman played a set of bag pipes and lead out the king and queen. "Are they really king and queen?"

I explained they were acting.

"Like a play? Do I get to dress up? I want to be a knight, too."

We went in and found a LOT of girls dressed up as princesses and maidens, but not a lot of complete boy dress up options. X-man skipped the wizard's hat, but what he did not miss out on was the bamboo bow and arrow set for kids. The arrow part is made of cloth and foam, so it doesn't hurt. He shot it a few times and then hung the bow around his shoulder "like Green Arrow."

Then he saw the area where they taught kids how to duel...Again with the foam swords and shields. Kids had to follow the rules of not hitting heads or groins (a word I had to explain). If you were struck in an arm, that meant you lost the arm and had to drop what was in your hand and put it behind your back. If you were struck in a leg, you had to kneel. Get two appendages cut off and you were dead. A strike in the back, chest, stomach or butt and you were dead... X-man spent an hour and fifteen minutes out of the three hours we were there either watching big kids duel or dueling himself. He had a great time dueling with a grandfather who we knew from Savoy.

It was a nice, quiet fair. It was very affordable and there was a lot of entertainment. There were about eight different stages that had something going on every 30 minutes. We watched some grown ups duel with real swords and learned about some of the dueling techniques. We watched a magic show. We saw two knights (including a female knight!) do a round of jousting. We ate a plain pretzel and shared a lemon shake up and went around finding folks with blue bows on their shirts who were carrying little prizes for the kids (pirate patches, rings, slide whistles, etc.). We listened to singers. Then, he took me to the stockade, where he gave a quarter to the woman and announced that his mom was buying 3 water balloons, but he didn't want me to throw them at the teenager for their fundraiser, he wanted me to throw them at him, because he was hot and wanted to get wet.

I soaked him using all three and then asked him if he wanted more. Because really, when does a mom get to pelt her son, who is imprisoned in the stocks, with water balloons any more?

X-man really liked the Fair, but he said he wished his Dad had come with, so they could have dueled as a team. We'll have to go back again next year. Maybe then we'll dress X-man up like a knight!

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